Human Exceptionalism

Psychiatrist Surrenders to Assisted Suicide

When you begin to redefine terms to permit some suicides, you have surrendered to suicide.

Case in point: In Psychiatric Times, Psychiatrist H. Steven Moffic advocates renaming assisted suicide and redefining some with intense suicidal ideation as having a “terminal illness.”

From, “Suicide and Our National Day of Mourning” (registration required):

The dates 9/10/14 and 9/11/14 are interrelated not only by one day following another, but by different manifestations of suicide, or at least different uses and meanings of the term suicide as it is currently used. What can we – the public and professionals – try to do to prevent suicide, ranging from our individual relationships to international relationships?

Okay. And then he has good ideas about how to prevent suicides–such as being “vigilant for people at suicide risk,”before careening off the rails:

Be part of the conversation about so-called physician-assisted suicide. Reconsider when the term suicide is appropriate, as perhaps suicide bombers (or flyers, as in 9/11/01) should be called homicide bombers, or as perhaps physician-assisted suicide should be called physician-assisted dying.

Most suicides, as the term was traditionally used, have an unbearably painful, untreated, or inadequately treated depression at the source. Occasionally, clinical depression can be a terminal illness in the sense that suicide is a likely outcome: we can do much better at preventing that.

In other words, we can lower the rate of suicides by changing the name of some suicides?

Or, does Dr. Moffic actually support killing some psychiatric patients? It seems so to me. That’s what they do in Netherlands and Belgium. 

This is one reason I call it “Invisible Suicide Prevention Week.”

If the last ditch defenders of life give up the fight, some people will have no defense.

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